Considering the importance of Arsenal keeping up our winning run in the FA Cup, I was a little surprised that Arsene Wenger made a whole nine changes to the team that played Chelsea last week, but it looks like Le Prof gambled with just the right amount of rotation and we ended up winning the game without too many dramas.
It is worth remembering that Burnley arrived with five straight wins under their belts, but Wenger feels that the Gunners were cruising until the Clarets claimed an equalizer. “We needed to work.” Wenger said after the game. “At the start it looked like it would be easy because we had a lot of the ball and good opportunities around the box. When it came back to 1-1, it became a different game. I think we were a bit shocked and they gained belief.
“I saw them against Derby and I could see that this is a very efficient, strong team with no weakness. Everything they do is based on efficiency and they’ve shown that today. In the second half, I don’t think they created a lot. They had one or two opportunities on the counter-attack but we managed to win the game and we looked quite in control at the end. We needed to keep our focus, our urgency until the last minute.”
Our two goals came from the rarely used Chambers and the returning Alexis Sanchez, and Wenger highlighted the difference between the two finishes. “I would say they are two completely different goals. One came from a build up in the final third, where we were patient and moved the ball well, with great finishing from Chambers. He’s quite a good finisher in training. The second one was in transition, coming out quickly from the back and finishing well, with a lot of pace. They were two completely different goals.”
After Sanchez put us ahead early in the second half we were usually in control except for a couple of small scares, and Wenger seemed quite happy to ride out the game, introducing Arteta, Rosicky and swapping Giroud for Walcott. The Englishman could have made it a little more respectable if he hadn’t bottled it in the last minute, but I think we can look at it as a job done, and with a full set of fresh legs for Tuesday’s game against Southampton…